During this lecture we talked about the basics of Semiotics, and by basics, I literally mean the tip of the iceberg!
During the first part of the session we completed two task the first was write down, how we represent numbers and our country. This lead us to talking about how we represent things such as liverpool and Everton football team for example, Paxman had both names written but they were in each other corporate identify colours, this practically brought up roar within the class just because the colours were wrong. This is exactly how much control advertising and graphic design has over people in society.
Here are some people that discuss the semiotics theory.
Daniel Chandler is some one who has written three books about semiotics, he first talks about the basics, which is obviously about signs, but then he talks about how this can then turn to signs such as body language, visual signs, words, sounds, drawings, sketches, and photographs. Chandler quotes some of Ferdinand De Saussure views from his books that he published on the matter of semiology. Ferdinard has two books about semiotics and General Linguistics. Now Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of grammar, syntax, and phonetics. He talks about the signifier and the signified and as much as they are linked they are not the same thing. They represent something in different forms. Its all very confusing especially getting into all the deep stuff! Ferdinard is basically the founder of what is semiology. There are other early developers of semiotics, these include Charles Sanders Peirce, Charles William Morris, and around seven others. Possibly more!
semantics: the relationship of signs to what they stand for;
syntactics (or syntax): the formal or structural relations between signs;
pragmatics: the relation of signs to interpreters
This was written by a man called Charles Morris. His book was called Foundations of the Theory of Signs.
Morris, Charles W (1938/1970): Foundations of the Theory of Signs. Chicago: Chicago University Press
I found it a lot easier to understand looking at Charles interpretation of Semiotics, as he breaks a lot of things down.
I found most of this informations on a site called http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem13.html#Morris_1938 It is extremely useful. And I think I most likely will be using it again!
Here are some examples I found that link to Semiotics.
The poster does not really link to examples but it reminded me during the session we discussed the Venn Diagram and thats what the poster is! It also looks very nice.
The picture of the pipe is a clear example of semiotics, as most people would say thats a pipe, but as it says on the picture it’s not a pipe, as it’s a picture of a pipe. The painting was by Rene Magritte and it was called “The Treachery of Images This was also an extract from Daniel Chandler’s Guide to Semiotics for Beginners.
The other is a very simple example which indicates the signifier and the signified. For example a sign which is a U turn is a signifier and the actual U turn (in the road) is the signified.
Semiotics is apart of all areas of design and media, and even education. From an early age is forced into the minds and teaching of children.
I will be looking at graphic arts. This is a website that I have been using to find information
On a whole I think the design which a designer or artist creates if it has a purpose it can represent semiotics. Advertising is a huge part of what semiotics is! Tt completely can change someones view or perception of a place, person, or object. Like I was talking about earlier with the football teams, even just a change of colour can change how a persons peruse and look at things which is crazy! Advertisers have to make a design that will scream out to the audience or viewer, that is what will make it effective and make them want to either, buy something or like something. For a designer it’s the meaning between a design or image and it’s meaning. They have to create a relationship between these two.
Looking at my own work I can see that I have used semiotics without realising! Which is crazy. There is a project I did last year called when two becomes one. It was all about putting images together that could fit together but shouldn’t. I used juxtaposition in these images. As putting these images together that have a contrasting effect.
They also make you think, it gives the design purpose. Which is what semiotics is all about. Especially in one of my designs which is about the homeless. It will make you want to do something or say something.
Another project that I think is relevant was called Six thinking heads, which was all about Blooms Taxonomy. I used symbology, to create meanings for each section of blooms taxonomy. By doing this it wasn’t easy for a viewer to look at my work and it just be straight forward and obvious, they had to really think about what everything meant and what I was trying to achieve.
A lot of artist have also used semiotics to subvert peoples expectations, even from different times and art movements. This includes Marcel Duchamp who is from the Dada movement. Well actually the whole of the Dada movement used semiotics as most of the creations and art took the main purpose of out everyday objects which made things seem strange out not normal, many of these were to done of purpose, for example to create humour, or lateral thinking about something.
Rene Magnitte, who I have previously spoken about was from the surrealism period. He would have paintings of everyday objects and have the wrong title of what there were, for example, he would have a painting of a hat and the title by fish. It changed the relationship between the image and the meaning which was create something very odd for people to look at.
Tom Gauld is an artist who users Semiotics but subverted to add humour in his art and illustrations. This changes people perception and expectations.
David Shrigley who is a contemporary artist/illustrator is very well known for using subverted semiotics in his illustrations. I think his work can be very rude and dark but it does hold a lot of humour.
He was also nominated for the Turner prize in 2013. He does a lot of animations as well. He was not well thought of as a student as he does use a lot of humour. Humour is not seen as the serious designer he could have been.
He does not really over complicate his work. Which I think works well with his style.
Here is one of his illustrations of a bunch of bananas with a caption saying we’re bananas. This adds the obvious to the illustration. its also lateral, they are not craze people they are literally walking bananas which is seen as bananas in itself. He has definitely tried to incorporate humour in this design.
The next is of a cow getting milked and its confusion when asking the person what they are doing! I actually really like this one, its obvious to the viewer what is going on but you never look at it from the cows perspective and I think this adds confusion what people think.
Now this image I think is very unsettling. Its a stuffed animal and that itself can make people feel uncomfortable but the animal is holding a sign stating that is it dead. The humour in this is that we don’t need a sign but it’s making the object seem alive by holding a sign, I think his is very juxtaposition, in a sense, as the animal is standing upright which normal animals don’t do and holding a sign.